The Emmy-award winner and Golden Globe nominee actor passed away in her sleep on Wednesday.
Emmy award-winning actor, Jessica Walter, best known for her role in Arrested Development passed away in her sleep on Wednesday in her Manhattan home. She was 80. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Brooke Bowman, who released a statement.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," the statement read. "A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on-screen and off. While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class, and overall joie de vivre."
Walter began her career in the 1960s, playing minor roles in TV shows like Flipper and The Fugitive. She gained recognition with her role in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, 1971 film, Play Misty for Me. She was even nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as a homicidal fangirl. This was her second nomination; the first one being for her role in the 1966 John Frankenheimer movie Grand Prix. She then went on to bag roles in TV shows including the lead character in the NBC mystery Amy Prentiss, for which she won an Emmy. As per The New York Times, Walter was also nominated for Emmy Awards for The Streets of San Francisco in 1977, Trapper John, M.D. in 1980, and Arrested Development in 2005.
Walter is best known for her role as Lucille Bluth in the cult classic series, Arrested Development. Her iconic character as a wealthy, eccentric, and cold-hearted mother, with memorable dialogues, made her an instant fan favorite with a new generation of people.
Members of her cast paid tribute to the actress. Jason Bateman, who played the role of her son, Michael Bluth wrote, "What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances. I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind."
David Cross, who played the role of Walter's son-in-law in the series tweeted, "I just heard the shitty news about Jessica Walter an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent. I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV's greatest characters."
She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace Mama Bluth. pic.twitter.com/wJeOeJleR3— Tony Hale (@MrTonyHale) March 25, 2021
For the loveliest girl in the world: Mother pic.twitter.com/TpREAVoRcR— Arrested Development (@arresteddev) March 25, 2021
I loved Jessica Walter. For me, knowing her mostly from dramatic work in films like 'Play Misty For Me' just made the comic genius of her turn in 'Arrested Development' even more delightful. You can watch her reactions shots on a loop. Lucille Bluth Forever. pic.twitter.com/hwBLDyJBET— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 25, 2021
Walter was also well-known for voicing Malory Archer in the FXX animated comedy series Archer. “The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague, and friend," Adam Reed, creator and executive producer of Archer said. "Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor’s actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer – warm, caring, and kind, with an absolutely cracking sense of humor – and it was both a privilege and a true honor to work with her over these many years. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.”
Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny. She was the brilliant center of our @archerfxx universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you. 💔 pic.twitter.com/0fsXh6CwbS— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) March 25, 2021
Walter is survived by daughter Brooke Bowman, who is SVP Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment, and grandson Micah Heymann, reported Deadline. The family is urging mourning fans to make a donation to Guiding Eyes for the Blind in lieu of sending them flowers.
This is so incredibly sad. I loved Jessica so much. She was so funny and marched to the tune of her own drummer. A true original whom I had the honor of working with several times. So much love to you, Jessica. Rest In Peace. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/Sm0tqvE4Os— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 25, 2021
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Rich Fury